The tradition of the Christmas Jubilee Parade began on December 6, 1997, in celebration of the City of Woodstock’s Centennial. The City Charter was granted by the State Legislature on December 8, 1897. We celebrated the Woodstock’s 120th birthday in 2017!
An important part of this tradition is the lead entry of the Parade, featuring Mayor Donnie Henriques, along with the Citizen of the Year, Bonny Keheley, who was chosen by Preservation Woodstock in recognition of her efforts in historic preservation for our City.
The date for the Parade is always on the first Saturday in December. Part of this decision was the availability of our high school bands to march in the Parade. The City manager and City Council feel that the marching bands are a very valuable asset to the Parade, and we love being able to showcase their talent.
In 2009, the Parade started at dusk and was then called the Christmas Jubilee Parade of Lights! Since then, everyone has gotten so creative with their floats, the competition is getting better and better every year! The judges are finding it much more difficult to choose from over ninety entries in the Parade. The mayor presents trophies to the winners of the Best Holiday, Most Original, People’s Choice, and History and Heritage Floats, who also have bragging rights for a year.
To kick off this holiday season, we present our 22nd Annual Christmas Jubilee Parade of Lights starting at 5:30pm on December 1. After the Parade, everyone is invited to the park to cheer on Santa and the mayor, as they throw the switch to light our thirty-foot Christmas tree. DJ Ronnie will be spinning holiday tunes while the kids visit with Santa. Have fun in our Kris Kringle Kidz Kraft Area and our Sugar Plum Cupcake Decorating Station while enjoying hot chocolate, cookies, apple cider, and inflatables, all of which are sure to delight kids and adults of all ages. Various vendors will be there to help with your Christmas shopping. Don’t forget the food vendors, serving up the perfect options for an evening in the park.
We will also be collecting donations to help Cherokee’s Secret Santa in providing Christmas goods to the foster kids of Cherokee County.
Another tradition from 2010 was Santa’s Mailbox, which will be in the gazebo from December 1-16, accepting letters to Santa. Just before Christmas, children will receive a letter back from Mr. Claus. It is a joy to witness the belief, hope, and excitement through the children’s creative drawings and skillfully crafted letters.
As the Parade lights up the town, it’s great to see the happy faces of the kids and their parents throughout the route. It is such an exciting time of year!